Dead or alive — Hakeemullah no longer in charge: Pentagon


WASHINGTON: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is no longer being run by Hakeemullah Mehsud, who Pakistani intelligence officials now believe survived a CIA drone aircraft strike in January, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

“I certainly have seen no evidence that the person you speak of (Mehsud) is operational today or is executing or exerting authority over the Pakistani Taliban as he once did. So I don’t know if that reflects him being alive or dead, but he clearly is not running the Pakistani Taliban anymore,” Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told a news conference.

Pakistan and US intelligence reported the death of the head of the Pakistani Taliban in a CIA drone strike, but recent reports reveal that he may have survived the attack.

The reports of Hakeemullah’s survival will raise questions about the quality of the intelligence being gathered in the region.

The Taliban on their part always claimed Hakeemullah was alive.

They said they were not going to offer any evidence of his survival because doing so could help security forces hunt him down.

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